The 5 stages of onboarding a new project

This is more a joke than anything else, any similarity to real situations might not be just coincidence though. Getting across all or stuck in one are all valid possibilities, also there’s no time attached to any stage.

Denial

Characterized for a touchable nostalgia of the past project, suddenly anything makes no sense, too unnecessary complex and sounding plain wrong. Lots and lots of questions about whys things are the way they are, why the project got here this way and where it is going. Acting as not part of the project itself can be detected on almost any action and words.

Anger

Having to contribute despite all past decisions is colored with angry remarks, sighs and questioning. Creating walls with snippets of bad code in a passive aggressive way happens on this stage. Shouts and references with the “WTF” code metrics can also appear on this stage. Usually there’s no convincing explanations that would calm the nerves down.

Bargaining

This phase is marked with an unusual high offer of new solutions, new technologies, new frameworks which “obviously” will make life less painful and correct all “bad” made past decisions. Technologies, even if not production ready or well known, are offered to easy the pain.

Depression

Faced with rejection of obvious better solutions, moral goes down, questioning of meaning of the project start to rise. It seems there’s no point, everything is meaningless. Good practices might suffer in this stage. Questioning of negotiation skills appear and self-esteem goes down.

Acceptance

Understanding of the real constrains, past decisions and goals. Broader view of the project and how it fits into the business are more clear. Improvements and alternatives are proposed bounded by the real constrains and are more valuable. Proper negotiation skills and comprehension of goals marks this stage.

Published in 04 August 2014



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